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NT to get two new half-day public holidays

AAP logoAAP 25/10/2016 Lucy Hughes Jones

Territorians will get two new half-day public holidays from 7pm to 12am on the night before Christmas and New Year's Day.

The changes, which come into effect from this year, are part of a range of measures from the new NT government to boost population growth and kickstart the stalling economy.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner said the Territory was facing a serious slowdown in population growth, with an overall loss of 8348 people interstate in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

"We are also not attracting people to live here in the same proportions as we have in the past, and that is bad for business," he said.

"Unless addressed, this lack of population growth will result in fewer jobs for Territorians and fewer jobs will mean more people leaving the Territory - a vicious cycle for our economy."

Mr Gunner said the Territory must remain an attractive workplace by matching other jurisdictions' moves to provide rewards to employees working the undesirable holiday shifts.

South Australia declared the two half-day public holidays in 2012.

"These changes will ensure Territory employees working Christmas and New Year's Eve are given a fair go and compensated for their effort," Mr Gunner said.

"They are working when most of us are enjoying time with friends and family."

Since the August election, the new Labor government has introduced a raft of measures to stimulate the economy as the $34 billion dollar Inpex gas plant project winds down.

The government has removed stamp duty for first home buyers from the first $500,000 of the purchase of an existing house or unit, and introduced a $10,000 grant for first home buyers seeking to renovate their homes.

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS STATE BY STATE:

ACT: 13

NSW: 11

NT: 11

QLD: 11

SA: 11 + two half days

TAS: 12

VIC: 13

WA: 10

NOTE: Already legislated public holidays (does not include any jurisdictions' regional show day holidays)

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